A Philosophical Life: The Collected Essays of William C. Gentry

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University Press of America, 2008 - Philosophy - 173 pages
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Socrates said that true philosophy could not be written down because it dies, lying sterile and static on the page. True philosophy takes place in conversation. Twentieth Century academic philosophy strays very much from this ancient insight and admonition and survives mainly through the journals, essays, books, and other written materials scrutinized by student and colleague alike. William C. Gentry was both an academic philosopher, perfectly willing to engage in the philosophical 'conversations' of the written word and, more importantly, a true philosopher, in the Platonic and Socratic style. Engaging with those around him in discourse, in live conversations, which are the vehicle of actual philosophical inquiry and discovery. These essays are the product of those conversations. Gentry's thoughts consisted of investigations into the deepest and most profound questions of human nature, ethics, and knowledge. This volume is a tribute both to his role as a teacher and philosopher. As a teacher, friend, and colleague, Gentry was the epitome of the philosopher: questioning, exploring, critiquing, discovering.
 

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Contents

Whats It All About
1
Philosophy or Bumper Stickers
5
Teaching BibleBelted Students
13
Ethical Decision Making
21
Questions on Ethical Decision Making
27
A Critique of Pojmans View of the Grounding of Moral Norms
33
Some Reflections of Perspectivism Relativism and Truth
35
Making Critical Choices
41
The Romantic Movement and JeanJacques Rousseau 17121778 CE
105
The Difference between Philosophy and Religion
109
On Defining Religion
111
The Problem of Evil for the Theist
113
Comments on Process Theology
119
Whats in a Name?
123
A Charge
125
Veterans Day 1987
127

An Alternative to Moral Logic or Gentrys Alternative
45
In Defense of a Reasoned Ethical Egoism
49
A Modest Defense of Altruism
51
A Modest Defense of Ethical Objectivism and Absolutism
53
The Morality of Using Surplus Human Embryos in StemCell Research
57
More on Ethical Relativism and Ethical Absolutism
71
Two Concepts of Freedom
73
A Case for Determinism
75
Pythagoras and the Mystery Cults
77
The Homeric Worldview
81
Notes on the Republic
87
Introduction to the Middle Ages
89
St Anselm of Canterbury 10331109 CE
93
Introduction to the Renaissance
97
The MindBody Problem
103
After the Tornado 1997
131
The House that Bill Built
137
A Friend Colleague and Mentor
141
A Remembrance of Bill
143
Hendersons Renaissance Man
145
My Dr Gentry
149
A Gentleman and a Scholar
153
A Great Man and Friend
155
Swinging from the Flagpole
157
A Fragment of the Philosopher
159
Wonderful Memories
163
Endnotes
165
Bibliography
169
Index
171
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About the author (2008)

William C. Gentry was Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Henderson State University. Among other things, he was instrumental in the founding of the Honors College and the Masters of Liberal Arts Program. A gifted colleague, he was a leader and an inspiration in the philosophical community and on the tennis court. Kevin K. J. Durand is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Henderson State University and the author of numerous books on Ancient Philosophy, Ethics, and the work of Alfred North Whitehead. A product of the Honors Program, he misses his regular talks with Bill about philosophy and tennis.

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